This Congress hit the ground stumbling and has not lifted itself into an upright position. With few accomplishments and an overloaded agenda, it is set to finish its tenure with the fewest number of days in session in our lifetimes, falling well below 100 days this year.Oh, but that's not all.
This new modern record is even more staggering when one realizes that more than 25 of those days had no votes scheduled before 6:30 p.m., making them half- or quarter-days at best. The typical workweek in Congress (when there is a week spent in Washington) starts late Tuesday evening and finishes by noon Thursday. No wonder satirist Mark Russell closes many of his shows by telling his audiences what members of Congress tell their colleagues every Wednesday: "Have a nice weekend."Perhaps they like going to their hobby ranches while they are busy not voting on issues that concern all Americans. But wait, there's more:
This part-time Congress has other parallels to the famous "Do-Nothing 80th Congress" that Harry Truman ran against successfully in 1948. The output of the 109th is pathetic measured against its predecessors and considering its priorities, which included a comprehensive immigration bill, tax reform and the research and development tax credit, lobbying and ethics reform, healthcare costs and insurance coverage, trade agreements, procedures for the detention and trial of suspected terrorists, and regulations for the oversight of domestic wiretaps, among many others. With just days to go before Congress adjourns and the fiscal year begins, not a single one of the 11 appropriations bills that make up the range of government programs has been enacted into law.Click on over to the actual article if you like to read more.
Just as an aside, don't you wish that people paid attention to the goings on in Congress to the same degree they pay professional sports? Wouldn't it be a different world if there were box scores reported daily for congressional votes?